In the digital age, Google is a necessity for many people. It's not just about looking up facts or finding images anymore; it's also an important tool in marketing and branding. In fact, according to some sources, over 60% of marketers rank SEO as their top priority. That means that if you're running a business or have any type of personal brand, you need to know how to optimize your website so that Google will rank it higher than your competitors'.
What is SEO and why does it matter?
Search engine optimization, known as SEO, refers to several things. It's the practice of using tricks and techniques to help your website rank higher than others when people search for keywords related to your business. For example, if you want more people to know about your product or service and find you online, you'll need to make sure that your website is listed on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. But how do you stand out from the competition? That's where SEO comes in. With proper utilization of these SEO techniques, you can gain an edge and ideally become the #1 search result for specific queries.
Google's ranking algorithm
You'll need to make sure that Google and other search engines understand what your site is about and how to rank it effectively. That's where Google's ranking algorithm comes in. Google uses an algorithm to determine the best websites for any given keyword or set of keywords. So if you want to make sure that people are more likely to find your site when they search, you'll need Google to rank it higher than your competitors'. The exact parameters Google uses and how each of them influences rankings is unknown. But there are some parameters that we know influence ranking. And we are going to focus on them primarily since they are the best things to target.
How to optimize your website for search engines
There are many ways that you can optimize your website and make it more likely to rank higher on Google. Here are some top tips for optimizing your site:
Make sure to include keywords in the title tag. This is one of the most important pieces of information for search engines, so be careful what you put here.
Include a meta description and a meta keyword tag. These tell search engines what your site is about, so try to include some keywords here while being natural.
Create several high-quality links to your website from other authoritative websites. Google looks for this when determining how popular and relevant your site is, so the more links you have, the better.
Write blog posts or news articles about your business or industry, and include links to your website within the content. This will not only help with search engine optimization but will also create more opportunities for people to visit your site.
Utilize social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. These are all free, and they can help with SEO because sites like these often rank highly on Google.
Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. This is more important than ever, as the majority of all searches are done using a smartphone or tablet.
Keep your site up to date with the latest security patches. Hackers find websites with outdated software easy targets.
Keep all of your website files organized on the server side so that they can be more easily crawled by search engine spiders.
Tools that can help you rank higher in the SERPs
If you need some help with SEO, several tools can make your life much easier. Here are just a few of them:
This tool can help you analyze user activity and provide information on traffic and conversion rates. A great way of utilizing Google Analytics is for tracking demographics and the interests of your visitors. With the proper data, you can optimize your page so that it’s much more likely to show to those people. Google Analytics is also incredible for tracking organic keywords as well as website referrals!
Google Webmaster Tools
Google offers some webmaster tools that can give you a clear insight into a few key information like:
Is my website showing up on search results?
Is my content considered high-quality?
Are my websites loading fast on Monitors search engine crawlers and help you troubleshoot any crawling issues.
Google Keyword Planner
Finding and using the right keywords can help your ranking immensely. Luckily Google offers incredible research tools for completely free! Google Keyword Planner helps you find keywords for your website, blog, or business that are being searched regularly or have high monthly search volumes.
This is a powerful tool that can give you some super-valuable insight that other keyword research tools just can’t match. And unlike others, it’s completely free to use!
Plagiarism is always a bad idea. On the web, this can be even worse as everything is connected, and if you steal content Google and other search engines will get the hang of it soon. This is why more and more marketers use apps like Copyscape to make sure that everything is 100% unique and if other people's content is being used on your site without their permission, which is a no-no when it comes to Google. This also works in the other direction. You can see if someone is stealing content from you and take action accordingly.
A powerful suite of SEO tools that help you monitor your site's position in search engine results pages and discover how to improve it. It is mostly used for its link-building and site auditioning features. With them, you can see exactly what you need to do to improve your SEO and build backlinks much easier. The only problem with SEMrush is that it’s a bit pricey for beginners.
Common mistakes people make when optimizing their website for SEO purposes.
Leaving out essential information like title tags, meta keywords, or meta descriptions. This is one of the most common mistakes that we see people make when they're working on their website's SEO.
Optimize your website's structure by using keyword-rich page titles and descriptions for each page of your site. Also, utilize heading tags like H2 and H3 to structure your page content. You can find more information on optimizing your website's structure in this post:
Cramming too much text into their website. While having long content is not bad at all, having repeating words and keywords might trigger some red flags within the algorithm. It’s one of the reasons why your website should never be full of spammy words. Google will probably consider it as you trying to manipulate Google by spamming their search rankings with scraped or spun content. Google has become extremely skilled at identifying this sort of behavior, so you'll just be wasting your time.
Not paying attention to the mobile compatibility of their website. Over 50% of all searches are now being carried out using a smartphone or tablet, so your site must be fully optimized for mobile devices if you want to take advantage of all this traffic.
You need a strong combination of high-quality backlinks from high authority sites that link to your website. You should have a backlink profile with over 100 quality backlinks to see strong results.
You need to have a lot of good, relevant content on your website that is focused on the same topic. Try to aim for over 2,000 words of unique, original content for optimal search engine rankings.
There are many ways to optimize your website for Google. The most important thing you can do is ensure that it's easy for search engine crawlers to index the pages of your site by making sure they're well organized and using keywords in page titles, descriptions, headings, and meta tags.
While these aren’t the only things you can do, they are the bare minimum upon which you should build your optimization. Remember, the more time you spend optimizing your SEO the less you have to spend on pricey adverts and other methods of getting audiences to your content.
Ranking high on search results can be an incredible change for businesses that are starting or struggling. It's not easy to rank well on Google. And if you try to do it the wrong way or try to cheat the system in any way, your rankings will drop off quickly as Google gets wise to what you're doing. Remember to optimize as much as you can and utilize various tools to make it easier and less time-consuming!
Which one of these tips have you applied when optimizing your website? What other techniques do you use? Let us know in the comments section below!